WEEI>On Demand>>Chris Nowinski, Former WWE Wrestler

Chris Nowinski, Former WWE Wrestler

Oct 14, 2010|

Chris joins D&C to talk about his upcoming event with Roger Goodell and the progress they have made with head injury prevention

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Our number three -- Dennis and Callahan. I'm not sure inviting Chris Liwienski into the studio and we've done at a number of times. Makes us smarter or just feel -- putter with his presence by the way the entire resume you heard Chris. Recite for you a couple of years ago on tape. Until the mentally also to graduate of the million tractor trailer schooled and well also wants or he did pretty well -- -- of -- joins us in the studio I first came to our attention when he wrote a book called head games. Football's concussion crisis. And was certainly on the a vanguard on the leading edge of the concussion situation. Everything's -- new and different for you is it not with that the CT situation with the fund raiser got -- on the NFL now getting the ball when we first talked. I think if I remember correctly the NFL's involvement -- what you're doing what you were saying torture hypothesis was was lukewarm at best is that fair. Big Mac and Jackson hoped you would go away I would it was more -- -- -- than lukewarm they actually tried to get papers retracted and would you know say publicly this is terrible science so they've been able to loosen the lug nuts on your tires and -- are right there were some concerns from some people but they were very much against what we are doing. And -- have always taken and he. WWE and Vince McMahon he's public enemy number one in their mind and the NFL right and and I think you have prevailed symbol. Accounts corrective ball. On a note to do and trying to make friends make a friend of view as opposed to an enemy because you're not. It's not good to be arguably list packet net effect well I appreciate that I do think we've managed changed their minds -- both. Completely change how they handle concussions and but I got a nice call from -- man last week talking about how he wants to start supporting what we're doing. So -- sense one is on Boise and give -- a million bucks tax shelled it. It I you know I have been nice I doubt it I don't know if he's that Philanthropic I think we've spent most of the money of fifty million on this campaign -- there's nothing left. But. It was it was very instinct to get that that collier Shiite we first let me master myself and think it was him because everyone does a good Vincent man impersonation. Is what it called back. Are you a huge fund raiser coming up on the twenty it would be the next Wednesday we'll get to that just the second. The last time we talked the news was exciting and in fact I thought medically. Qualified it as a breakthrough. And that was on the heels of HBO's real sports during the story that you and your research team may be a LS to head injury connection. Now we're talking about CTG's and suicides and things of that nature can -- catches up to date on what's happened research wise since last we talked gross. Sure as we talked about the mail -- can actually last time and then I don't know the next week we released a very significant case the captain of the -- football team. In I've committed suicide in April hung himself Owen Thomas Owen Thomas who had double play for Boston's nine years old but had never been diagnosed with a concussion. And doctor -- looked at his brain and found that he actually was suffering from a relatively progress case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. So as he was the is actually the youngest case of CTE. And it was shocking because we -- -- this is concussion issue but this young man had never. Had a concussion that anyone you'll be probably did because we all do get them playing with nothing significant and so. It would raises concerns of the fact that he probably got hit you know 20000 times and -- -- life. Social that would lead one to believe in a note to small study that it's cumulative as opposed to one major. The vent right head injury. Correct that is exactly right there's actually good sake of it that -- -- Purdue last week with a put sensors and helmets and found that. There were kids who have never been diagnosed concussion but took. -- hit the record to forty mile an hour car crashes who showed cognitive problems worse than it has written cautions. Meaning that getting hit in the head whether or not you really feel different could be is probably bad in both senses what that what woke up the NFL what changed Roger -- mind. I honestly believe having been in the meetings with the NFL last year that it was doctor McKee. Because of the first pathologist who looked at this work. He's had some over interpreted the findings and was and was easily. Was not -- credible -- doctorate he went down there and I I remember the meeting specifically with their concussion committee where they said well couldn't this be this disease and that disease. And she goes well I was on the NH committee that defined what that diseases so I'm pretty sure it's not and suddenly they're like well this is this is real she's she's the real deal. And that plus congress getting involved plus the media beating them up over and over again -- as someone mentioned last right now glad wells article on this and you'll wreck when he got involved. So the real sports -- which just opened everybody's -- and I'm sure they feel good about the commitment now and there are million dollar investment -- You you shook down the NFL from million bucks that could be your greatest career culture. -- you have got a lot well I appreciate that well you know hopefully it's a continual. Donation it's it's for that we never even asked where. Really yeah no we do we want them support the research by encouraging -- donate the brains of former butler's passed away but suddenly there's -- arguably million bucks to like. Well there's all -- on restricted gifts via. In -- and how's that project going because when last we -- you were pick up the phone and calling people. And and and in -- widows of former radical players and asking for brain donations. What's the Big Brother calling you what's the brain rank look like. What we're actually up to 44 cases -- we had to run two weeks ago that we got six cases in ten days. One -- -- -- -- couple former NFL players -- significant I can talk about it only because the family put out a press release. There was high school senior football player in Virginia they lost in Trenton who got a concussion Friday night game. And committed suicide on Sunday to. And he was a sneeze and a student he was -- no problems and that -- they had news of his and we said there was. You know -- to me a minor argue about homework and he went upstairs and himself and so -- do they don't his brain to see if we can find anything. Well to deceit CEO and -- not -- connect any concussion to who backed suicide it's kind of medically possible -- 400 brains before we have -- -- -- 44 in the -- 400 and then 400 people committed committed including videos announced -- targeted Taylor -- decided to join the new revolution. One of those soccer guys we talked about last time we've just been heading balls for. For years and years and years and didn't really think it was news and life threatening. And and may have suffered concussions without him realizing. Well he would have suffered concussions and heading so he took repetitive trauma thousands and thousands of those who had plus. He you know the of these major concussions in 2008 when he was going to make a play it -- the goal and the goal he punched in the face. That was his major concussion that's what he hasn't been back for for awhile. But the numbers is ever called in the HBO -- had some staggering statistics. Over in Italy from an Italian soccer group that indicates that's sort of repetitive use it like a like. Like in a forty mile an hour car crash a 150 times during your career has that cumulative effect. Right right that that weird talk what the study. Showing that epidemiological -- Soccer players in Italy professional soccer players have a six times greater risk of being diagnosed dale -- during their life which is some scary if you're soccer player I mean it's it's like twenty years 3040 guys and Italy that played pro soccer. NN in recent months you've got 400 committed people who were alive. Maybe not well but alive and and still with us concern has concerned instead you can look at my brain when I'm no longer using it. Right right since 2000 they we start -- -- your tech -- your first got to sign up for. And -- out now people calls every day asking messiah would be part of the solution literally meters to. Listen to Internet you have a speaker I want my shot she cannot get one at bats excellent -- -- -- are you trying to change football. I think we I think absolutely were trying to change football. I think -- you know we have to remember that you look back historically football's really just evolve constantly. Right in his and that that the broker Smith and we talked about old times that used to be harder tougher meaner more dangerous it is so dangerous now as we see every week. We sit here and last week -- and expect terrorism and Geist is going down and it is a vicious violent game. Now a game that we didn't see -- a generation ago and even with Dick Butkus and re knit -- and you know Sam often Mike -- -- state they didn't we didn't see hits like we see are virtually every play today. You're young you're absolutely right and and so. And also would give the other thing that spread historically is the involvement of kids and this was invented as an adult skiing college athletes and and pro and then down to kids. And so we're really really focused on changing the kid's game the idea that kids replaying the same game as adults that they should be hadn't had a thousand times a year while they're developing a while they're in school. Doesn't seem to make as much sense and so we're talking about completely reinventing how we practiced not necessarily change as much -- how you play in the weakens in the games of them. The rule changes on and head to head hits the chance to sit down pro tennis and that's like closing a hard one you gotta sit out. That is that is the most important when the science is very clear that your your. Neurons and cells in your brain your -- -- are very sensitive. And race well after a concussion and more trauma to the head can really cause some serious permanent I. It's pretty clear that he already has changed the NFL's culture that I can remember a year where quarterback got dating and that's just sitting out -- -- sitting out there -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Rogers and -- and you know what if you're an adult that's not happening right now. They're right there who says that in naming system bell -- Anymore you know you don't say those things and I'm the coach in youth eighth graders and if a kid says my head you just immediately get off the get off the field you know go home go to the doctor two doctors use it out. When in doubt you just stay out and sit out no one says you know suck it up you know you shake it off shake the cobwebs out almost tired old cliches they're gone you have. Essentially remove them from the lexicon well thanks it is exciting -- you know one of the reasons that were honoring NFL next week and having Roger Goodell come and accept the award. Is because I was just on the CDC last week in the CDC produced a poster. The media felt cruise won for their locker rooms for the athletes it's very honest that's Centers for Disease Control has sent a list Eritrea Centers for Disease Control. And now the they've made a poster to go and high school youth locker rooms and the group funded it was the well. The sale like this is this is what a concussion is this is why -- stay out there are serious long to affects our -- shortly fax. It's always just wild to see from where we were a year ago where I first came on they said this isn't a problem to now they're funding the education. Priscilla talked to about the fund -- coming up next Wednesday and make it available -- obvious. How people can get involved but a couple questions from our callers if you don't mind for just a couple minutes -- 2000 north and over Al what do you got for Chris. I guess are now. As -- opened the -- that's not very important. Now at its at ten year old daughter and seven year old son and they're both -- sport and I wanted to know what I'm you know to Spain are just. -- a level at this point. Any any studies that -- -- And god there haven't been that there's some good studies on hockey in terms of concussions the collisions and hockey can be bigger because you're on skates. And so this movement now especially the NHL level to a really seriously penalize hits from the side -- from behind to the head intentionally so that is a big issue. There was a study Q&A few months ago that saw there's a player can see you hit coming there much much less likely to get a concussion so teaching youth athletes to keep their head on a swivel. And see it's coming but also teaching their hitters. Not to to respect their opponent and not go for the head. Is a big deal you get Jenny Thompson to donate her -- correct scripts why yes why -- so she slumped into the walls or something -- bush -- showed the relevant here the Jenny or doctor Thompson's are close to the doctor in -- she's -- -- -- supreme women's. She joined because yes we had concussion she she gets what we're doing she. Wants to be supportive to this effort and also there are still people like scientists out there who wonder. You know even though we're now up to in the literature eighty some cases of this disease of CTE all everyone who's gotten it has been through enormous trauma that's the one link that they have as repetitive trauma some people still think what if it's. Just training every day very hard for four hours and over exercise in the could be problem works its. You know something about a lead out athletes getting CT there's some theories out there with some scientists so. People like Jenny are in being involved is great for the science and also for the publicity because she's a rock star. Is the ability or the methods by which they can donate the brain Pardo an organ. Donor thing -- drivers lessons or -- more complex than that. It is you can't. The bring donations are part of regular organ donation program so when you join our program -- -- a whole lot of forms from BU school of medicine. And then you get all of wall card so our general Carter my wallet thing in I have to get hit by a possible way out here that the -- Israeli government is there's an. How can people get involved with that first of all Aaliyah the fund raiser shore. You could it sets the center for the study traumatic encephalopathy BU's school of medicine. Website is -- dot edu slash CS TE. Within our website and not -- as do that think we -- -- -- you got a big fund -- gone up and is it sold out and you still get involved in people. Give money to you give money to you through this fund raiser next Wednesday absolutely there are still tickets available still sponsorships available. ERR and -- for the evening have -- -- one. Roger -- no other -- of their of them out right horrible you have to make a bunch of jokes. I am I'm not doing everything inappropriate yes. But Roger Goodell as the guest of honor correct yeah yeah we're honoring the NFL and the Russian girls coming to accept the -- you you can ask him personally what took so long. Well from potential it's just it's. But yes so if you if you are go to sports legacy dot org that's our -- says sports legacy dot org or else you can actually call our event coordinator -- -- -- -- lovely. It's 617951. 3799. Extension 336. Write that down. Now think you'll but I do tell us some of the other guests tomorrow it's quite a star studded list even though -- blowing I had a previous. -- -- Yeah we've got a -- -- athletes that are coming in guys like Ted Johnson I was he hosted a former impact award winner Mickey ward will be there -- you know Kevin turner is coming in there's -- Kevin for patients received diagnosed balance will be there with his parents also seeing her doctors -- -- NFL -- in the WW he isn't NFL's Leo -- me it's like a feeder system hovered right to the -- -- -- I happen to have them. Wrestling world Harvard educated guys Brutus the barber beef cake will be big and hard. I -- Mallory didn't. And maybe is greatest accomplishment as he knows Stacey Keebler from the WWE. Knows and get her there. You know I should -- -- caller I really should give her call she is very -- well as a live events yes eleven perhaps you lose there -- an effect you can replace Callahan looking -- to do very well that tree -- -- -- thank her for the time good to see you good luck for the event continued success with the all of -- you do for. Or sports sentiment families and children in Andean FL as well well thank you -- -- against crystal lets you with Edison cal I had 6177790850. Will take a quick time out. It right back to your phone calls on the other -- and don't forget. During the 9 o'clock hour we are giving away. Tickets to the celtics' opening night against the heat not supplement not auctioning them not asking -- for 111000 dollars they will be free in the 9 o'clock hour.

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